It was a busy yet exciting day for the Friday at House of Mercy. As the discipleship program wraps up, we works on our Chinese dinner pulling. All hands on deck to make this happen. To cook for a big group of people, we basically start cooking at around 1:00 pm until 7:00pm for the dinner.
We had a great time sharing our Canadian Chinese food with our friends in Ukraine.
It's time to pack again, as the title says. This time, it's to pack to return to Canada. There are some trivial similarities. Same bags, almost the same people, clothes, items, etcetera. We're having fun (which seems to be, excitably, the norm, whenever both teams are together), and we've got music playing in the background - though this time, it's Crystal's "older" music instead of VBS songs.
It feels somewhat lonelier, though.
Coming here, I was nervous, not too certain about how the experience would be, how I would help, who would help me. I was excited, eager to apply what gifts God has given me in his service.
Now that our time here is coming to an end (for this year), having gone through these two weeks with people I have just met and come to know, I've built bonds. Bonds which my other team members here have had for several years. I think I can understand why they love to keep coming back.
Before I began taking part in STM preparation back in early spring, I was told that even though we come every year intending to give of ourselves to Ukraine, God is so generous that He gives back to us even more than what we first gave in our time here. We end up going back home not just having blessed others, but, through God's will, being blessed ourselves as well. It was something that I thought was strange at the time, and perhaps even a bit confusing to expect out of a mission trip. On reflection now, though, it feels very natural, and I am nothing but thankful for it.
And what more can I say? Though there are certainly many details, I will refrain from recounting them here, so that what I have already written can stand for itself. Let this post for now be testament to God being at work in Ukraine.
Keeping the tradition and highly anticipated STM Team Canada Chinese Dinner, we have to work hard together the night before. Actually, the planning of this Team Canada dinner started way back in Canada as part of the Ukraine STM planning. We brought along a few items from Canada, looked for some local food items while we are here and started our preparation work Thursday night....here are some snap shots of our preparation work.
Even though the pictures may not included everyone there, but everyone helped out including some of the teens in House of Mercy. This is truly a Team effort.
In Day 2 of House of Mercy staff retreat. We focused on the reflection time and vision casting for the next few years. We reviewed the stop, start, continue list from last year and assessed how they are doing with the action list. Then reassess the mission and goals for the next five years. We also reviewed the STM and future ministries opportunities. There was lots of open discussion among the House of Mercy staff. For sure we have an exciting and meaningful day at the retreat.
Of course we also have praise and worship time, devotion and team building exercise.
It was a great day at the conference centre even we have a few people are not feeling well. We thank God for His mercy and grace.
Can you guess what the model clay animal is?